Although webinars have been around for decades, they were traditionally reserved for corporate presentations and high-level meetings. Today it's a different story, thanks to the advent of digital technology, making webinars accessible to any industry and organization.
Companies of all sizes invite clients, stakeholders, and employees to webinars for their marketing campaigns. If you're considering doing the same, take notes, as we’ll dive into how you can leverage the benefits of hosting a webinar.
1. Increase Brand Awareness
The primary goal for most organizations hosting webinars is to increase brand awareness. Webinars are a great way to introduce your company to potential customers, build relationships with existing customers, and engage in meaningful conversations with stakeholders.
Branding opportunities are plentiful. From customized webinar invitations to branded slides and video backgrounds, you can ensure your brand is the show's star. Add your logo and colors, so everyone knows who's hosting the webinar. Doing so subtly reinforces your brand to anyone attending the event.
In addition, webinars are a great way to generate content that can be shared on social media and other channels. This helps solidify your organization's presence in the digital space and increase your brand awareness even more. When other people talk about your webinar and share it on social media, the benefits of hosting a webinar increase exponentially.
2. Monetizing Your Events
You don't have to wait to reap the benefits of hosting an online event. Webinars can also be monetized to generate revenue from your content immediately. There are different ways to monetize webinars, such as by selling tickets or offering sponsorships.
Regarding ticket sales, you can charge a fee for people who want to attend the webinar. This is quite easy, as many webinar software providers offer this feature by default. However, this will only work if you provide quality content and offer something valuable to your attendees. Otherwise, consider selling VIP tickets for a higher price. VIPs can get exclusive access to additional benefits and/or special content.
If you're expecting many attendees, you can also consider offering sponsorships. Just like you want to showcase your brand image, other companies want the same. Reach out to potential sponsors and negotiate a deal that benefits both parties. Note that you’ll likely have to promote their brand or products during your webinar and post about them on social media.
3. Find More Quality Leads
Targeting the right audience is every marketer's dream. It is challenging to do when running paid ads, publishing SEO content, and participating in other lead-generation activities. However, webinars can help you identify the right people for your business quickly.
Generally speaking, someone attending your webinar is interested in what you offer. For example, if your webinar topic is a product demonstration for your software, then you can be sure that the attendees are interested in your software solution. We call these "warm leads" because they already have a tendency toward what you're offering.
Access to warm leads makes the lead nurturing process easier and quicker, as they are more likely to convert into paying customers. Make sure to request some form of contact information from webinar attendees, such as an email address or phone number. Prospective customers can then be added to your marketing database for future follow-ups and sales initiatives.
4. Establish Yourself as an Industry Expert
If you want potential customers to convert into paying customers, you must showcase your expertise and convince them you know what you're talking about. Of course, blog posts and white papers can help, but nothing beats a live webinar.
Seeing a member of your organization, like the CEO or product manager, speak live about the benefits of your product is more convincing than any blog post. Your viewers can be sure you know about the subject matter and can trust what you're saying. Bonus points if you host a Q&A session at the end of the webinar. The ability to think on the spot and answer questions quickly can go a long way in proving your expertise.
Inviting other industry experts and influencers to speak at your webinar is another way to establish yourself as a trusted source of information. Ask them to share their insights and experiences, you will benefit from the additional credibility.
5. Benefit from Affordable Marketing
Webinars allow you to expand your marketing efforts without breaking the bank. You only need a laptop, a webcam, a reliable internet connection, and powerful webinar software to get started. You can find the best webinar software in our Best Picks to use a cost-effective option that ticks all your boxes.
Of course, some webinars will require additional resources, such as virtual backgrounds or a small production team. But these are relatively small investments compared to in-person conferences or trade shows. You can also use the money you would have spent on an in-person event to create and promote a higher-quality webinar experience. For example, you could hire a professional editor or graphic designer to help produce unique visuals for your presentation slides.
Webinars can also help you increase your ROI significantly. Since the cost of hosting a webinar is much lower than in-person events, your return on investment will be higher if you convert even a few attendees into paying customers. Unlike in-person events, where your location (which you have to rent first) can only have a certain number of participants, webinars and virtual events are flexibly scalable.
6. Repurpose Your Content
We have all heard it a thousand times: content is king. Unfortunately, it's not easy (or cheap) to produce content that is both useful and entertaining. That is why it’s recommended to repurpose content whenever possible, and webinars are a great way to do that.
Once you have recorded your webinar, you can use it as the basis for blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, and more. The recordings can be further split into multiple parts, or you can use the highlights and key points for different types of content. Short videos can be posted to TikTok, YouTube Shorts, or Instagram Reels, and the audio recording can be posted to a podcast channel.
Repurposing is also a great way to keep an audience engaged and interested in your product or service even after the webinar has ended. You can also repurpose webinar slides as standalone visuals or videos that showcase the benefits of your product.
7. Gather Data and Insights
Webinars provide an excellent opportunity to collect data and insights about your audience. As mentioned earlier, during registration, you can ask attendees for their email addresses, job titles, locations, etc., which can all be used to segment your audience and personalize future webinars.
In a pre-recorded webinar, you can track which parts viewers skipped or rewatched. You can also track engagement during the webinar, such as how many attendees stayed until the end. This information can help you identify which topics, formats, and speakers resonate most with your audience.
Finally, you can use engagement tools such as polls and surveys to collect valuable feedback from your attendees. Ask them to rate the webinar. When done anonymously, they can give honest opinions without fear of judgment or criticism. Polls can be specifically used to ask questions about the topics discussed in the webinar or to find out what content they want to see at future events.
8. Interact with Your Audience
Think about most traditional marketing campaigns. They often follow a one-way communication pattern, where the company simply broadcasts its message without any feedback from the audience. For instance, you could post a paid ad on social media or send out a newsletter. You can only measure the success of these campaigns after they are launched.
Webinars, on the other hand, provide an opportunity for two-way communication with your audience. You can interact directly with your viewers via chat or Q&A sessions, which creates a more intimate and engaging experience for your attendees.
It also allows you to build relationships with potential customers, which is essential for any successful business. Take this opportunity to learn more about their needs and how to better serve them by engaging directly with them. Furthermore, these interactions allow attendees to develop a deeper emotional connection with your brand, resulting in more loyalty toward your brand.
9. Make New Business Connections
It's worth mentioning that webinars aren't all about marketing. They can also be used to expand your network and make new business connections. First, you may have new sponsors come on board, depending on the webinar topic. This is especially true if it's a B2B webinar, as many sponsors are eager to associate their brand with industry experts and thought leaders.
You can invite other industry professionals to be panelists or guest speakers in your webinars, and if you do this correctly, you can create a powerful alliance with them that potentially kicks off new collaborations. This is also a great opportunity for industry professionals to get more exposure from a wider audience.
10. Educate Your Viewers
Ultimately, you want your webinars to have a positive impact on the lives of your viewers. You can achieve this by providing useful, actionable advice they can apply in their own lives and businesses. Create webinars around topics that will help them solve problems or become better at their jobs.
You may even want to consider creating online courses as part of a webinar series. This is a great way to provide a more profound and comprehensive learning experience and ensure viewers have all the information they need to succeed. With this newfound confidence, they will be more likely to purchase your products and services in the future.
11. Promote Your Product
Finally, don't hesitate to promote your product or service during a webinar. When done right, it won't come off as "salesy," and your attendees will appreciate the value they are getting from your content. For example, at the end of the webinar, you could invite viewers to try out a free trial of your product or sign up for a free consultation.
Some webinars can be product demos, which aim to demonstrate how a product or service works. Even in that case, provide value first and don't jump straight into a sales pitch. A well-crafted webinar should technically be a sales pitch in disguise, as viewers should walk away with a better understanding of how your product can solve their problem.
Once the webinar ends, you can take more aggressive sales and marketing measures. You could send follow-up emails to your viewers with a limited-time offer or a discount code. This is often a great way to convert people who were on the fence about your product and incentivize them to take action.
The rise of webinar software as a business tool has created incredible opportunities for companies to reach, engage, and convert potential customers. It’s clear that hosting webinars can benefit your business in numerous ways when executed correctly. They can help you build trust, educate people, and be used as a content resource to repurpose content and ultimately increase your sales.
Never before has it been easier to give viewers a personal and deeper understanding of your product or service without having to fill large halls. If you would like to get started with webinars but are not quite sure how to go about it, then take a look at our webinar guide. Here we show you all the basics, what types of webinars there are, and how to set up your first webinar.
To leverage these benefits, you'll need robust webinar software to host your events. With the right platform, you can create high-quality webinars with interactive features and content to engage viewers. If this is the missing part, check out our Best Picks to learn more about the best webinar software available on the market.